Former President Donald Trump said that fellow Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy gained a “big win” in the first primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday.
Ramaswamy has taken a variety of pro-Trump positions during his candidacy, including vowing to pardon Trump if he is convicted in the federal criminal proceedings currently underway against him. In response to further praise from Ramaswamy during the debate, Trump claimed that Vivek was the winner of the debate, according to comments he posted on TruthSocial.
“This answer gave Vivek Ramaswamy a big WIN in the debate because of a thing called TRUTH. Thank you Vivek!,” Trump wrote. He referred to a comment by Ramaswamy that “President Trump, I believe, was the best president in the 21st century. It’s a fact,” which drew applause from the crowd in attendance.
Trump, who leads the Republican presidential nomination contest by 41% across an average of polls, declined to attend the debate, citing his large lead in the polls.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had … I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!,” he wrote, also on TruthSocial.
A pre-taped interview with Trump by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson was published on Twitter during the debate.
Ramaswamy currently has 7.2% support across an average of polls, according to RealClearPolitics, placing him third behind Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, whose support has declined in recent weeks.
Ramaswamy’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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